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October 5, 2006

Willie Randolph


THE MODERATOR: Questions for Willie.

Q. Can you just touch upon Glavine's performance tonight, please.
WILLIE RANDOLPH: Well, not much to say. I mean, he was superb as usual. I mean, he's a big-money pitcher, big-game pitcher. He's been in a real, real nice rhythm lately. Getting great motion on his changeup. You know, pitching to both sides of the plate.
When you have that combination going, as deceptive as he is, that's what happens, you get a beautifully pitched ballgame. So Tommy stepped up again for us - big time.

Q. Looked like the Endy Chavez move worked out for you.
WILLIE RANDOLPH: Where's Marty? Told you you'll like Endy. I love him, actually. Endy again came up big-time for us. That's why it's always puzzling to me when, you know, you get a guy like him who's played well all year for us, some questions about why he might be in there. Guy can play, that's why he's in the game. Guys been watching us all year know he's a quality player, plays good defense for us, makes things happen. The bunt was huge, got us going.
Again, no more questions about Endy. He's a big part of our offense, big part of our team. He's been that way all year.

Q. Can you talk about the way you scratched runs out tonight, scoring runs on groundouts and sac flies.
WILLIE RANDOLPH: Whatever it takes, man. Whatever it takes. We don't try to have a certain blueprint of how we do it. We just try to be aggressive, and play the game right. We come at you in different ways. We knew we had to make things happen against Kuo. He was tough again, but we kept battling with him and he got his pitch count up a little bit. Not that it was out of whack, but we just made him pitch a little bit. You know, we had some at-bats where we made him, you know -- we taxed him a little bit.
He's a tough young pitcher. We knew we had our work cut out for us. We just kept battling and playing and we were able to scratch out one of those typical Met wins for us.

Q. Firstly, talk about the performance so far up to this point with the bullpen.
WILLIE RANDOLPH: Well, the bullpen's a big part of our club. It's a strength for us. I mean, you know, we can go to those guys at any time. We've challenged them to be ready. For the first two games, they've been that for us. Aaron came in, although he gave up the home run, threw the ball pretty well for us. Feliciano had a nice run for us where he made some quality pitches and some big strikeouts.
So, you know, those guys are ready to go, and they know that they've been the heart and soul of our team this year. I've told them that many times. So far they're coming through for us big-time.

Q. You said before the game that the outcome of tonight's game might affect who pitches Game 3. Does this clarify in your mind who's going to go on Saturday night?
WILLIE RANDOLPH: Yeah, I spoke to Steve and I told him he was gonna go on Game 3. So Steve Trachsel will go on Saturday.

Q. Did Franco find an extra gear passing down the line there?
WILLIE RANDOLPH: Yeah, he tends to have a little bit extra every once in a while. He's stolen a few bases for us this year. I was oh, jeez, get down there quick. He rolled over on a changeup. It's amazing how he competes. That was a huge, you know, huge play for us because it kept things going for us a little bit for us.
He plays hard. He's aggressive. Even though you don't expect him to lay out something like that, he plays hard for us.

Q. Getting back to the bullpen for a second, you mentioned Pedro Feliciano, his performance tonight. He's been really an unsung guy in your bullpen this year. He's really stepped up. Going from a lefty setup guy, maybe earlier in the season, to a guy you're more than confident to use for a full inning, talk about him.
WILLIE RANDOLPH: I don't think he's been an unsung guy. From day one, I've challenged him to be ready to pitch. I mean, you know, he's one of the few left-handers we had in our bullpen early. We've used him sometimes one-plus, and he doesn't usually just come in for one guy. I don't agree. I think that he's the kind of pitcher that can get lefties and righties out, and we've used him that way. He's done a nice job for us. He dropped down to certain lefties, given them trouble at times, and he made some quality pitches against righties. He's been a big part of our bullpen. Done a great job for us.

Q. The starting pitching, one run in two games. Did you expect that?
WILLIE RANDOLPH: Well, that's playoff baseball, you know. Any time you get out of the chutes quick and you get out, you know, really good on any type of playoff situation, you're gonna have good pitching. Our guys were rested toward the end of the year, we finished up strong. Only two games. We have a long way to go. Guys like Glavine, you can always count on them to step up for you, they've been there. We're looking for the same thing from Trachsel on Saturday.
Our pitching has been what's kept us in this situation all year long. Never really surprised about stuff like that. Peterson does a great job getting these guys ready. Like I said before, when you get into a playoff situation, pitching is usually the one that gets you through.

Q. You mentioned Steve is going to start on Saturday night. He hasn't pitched in about, you know, a couple of weeks. With what he came home from, with personal reasons, how sure are you physically and mentally he's ready to go on Saturday night?
WILLIE RANDOLPH: Well, he's gonna get the ball. I guess he's mentally and physically ready. He's fine. Spoke to him today, said he was fine. I have no question about it. Ready to play.

End of FastScripts...

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